An Open Letter to My "Aunt Flo"
Dearest Aunt Flow:
I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you back into my life, and to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me so much time without having to worry about you. Almost 2 years!!! That’s gotta be some kind of record, I’m sure. Okay maybe it’s not, and maybe there’s a ton of other women who have gone longer than that without you in their lives while breastfeeding. But for me, with my own history of pregnancies and breastfeeding journeys, this is by far the longest that you’ve stayed away for. And for that, I will forever be grateful to you.
Before writing this letter, I was mildly cursing you, I’ll admit. The way you chose to enter the picture again was nothing less than your dramatic self’s way of breaking through the beautiful silence. The fact that my brand new mattress, that I’m so in love with, has now been forever ruined in some small way, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit peeved off at that. Lesson learned, though. It’s back to putting on a mattress protector as if I’m also a 3-year-old in potty training. Ready for the any day any time spills that may occur from now on.
Truthfully, though, I can’t hate you anymore. I certainly used to. You caused me so much physical pain over the years that you’ve been with me, a constant reminder that something inside me was broken until I had my first baby. But since then, you’ve been quite kind to me overall. You’ve stopped tormenting me with contractions as if I was in active labour every month. You’ve decided to stop flooding for 6 days straight and simply left it to a moderate leaking for 3-4 days. And most of all, you’ve been there for me and provided as best of an environment as possible for all three of my babies to implant, grow and flourish like they did during each of my pregnancies. That last one is the one I’m most grateful for when I think of you now.
It wasn’t always successful, and I felt your pain along with mine when two babies just didn’t want to stay put in your amazing cushion-y home. Losing them was devastating, I know. I want you to know that I don’t blame you at all. I never did. I felt lost for a while, kind of like I know you did too. We needed some help from our amazing acupuncturist to get us both back on track and feeling better about things. And thank goodness for her, right? She did just that. She really made it seem so effortless too. And just like that, you and I were back to being ready again. And then three months later, Jack Jack happened. He wreaked complete havoc on us both. But you held steady. You held fast and you made it happen. You weren’t letting go of him no matter what. You supported an amazing placenta, you kept him safe and growing perfectly, and you sent me daily affirmations that all was good and that I just needed to trust you. I failed in that regard. And for that, I am eternally sorry. You kept telling me over and over again that all was okay, that you’ve got this, that WE’VE got this. And I kept letting others who were NOT you tell me otherwise. I let someone tell me how my being fat was not good. I let someone tell me how not being on insulin was going to kill the baby you were holding safe. I let someone tell me that they were the one that was looking out for that baby, not you or I. And I did everything I could to stand up for you and I. To defend the job we were clearly doing well. But some of the others didn’t want to see or hear that.
I caved at the end. I gave in to all the pressure and the “statistics” and the opinions. I was exhausted. I felt like you were too. I just wanted my baby earthside, and I wanted all the outside noise and opinions to just stop finally. For that I apologize. I should have been stronger. I should have trusted in us more than I did. And the next time we find ourselves in a similar position, I promise you here and now I will NOT doubt you ever again.
In the meantime, you’re back and telling me you’re getting yourself ready all over again. For whenever the next time might possibly be. And although I had some unwanted clean up to do because of you this morning, I am a woman who stands changed by you in all the most amazing ways. So I welcome you wholeheartedly, fully and completely. Thank you for returning, I only ask that you continue to be kind to me physically. I thank you for your many, many years of faithful service thus far. I know we don’t have an indefinite time together, and so I want to take as much time and opportunity as I can to pay tribute to you, talk to you, plan with you, and be the two halves of one Wonder Woman with you.
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